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DOPE

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Creative Producer & Publisher Executive Producers Executive Editor Head of Ops & Branding Director Art Director West Coast Creative Marketing Coordinator Marketing Design Research & Development Photos & Convos New Media Social Media

Pure DOPE Label (MXE) Khas Swep & ToneSwep ToneSwep Arionne Alyssa Joshua “JG” Wilson Brittany “Bella“ Graham John “JD” Drumma MXE Graffiti Slang Architects of Cali SIX13 Media Research Group www.DOPEMAG.net www.DOPE310.com @D_O_P_E

D O P E Authors ~ Brittany Smooch, Kanary Diamonds, ToneSwep, Arionne Alyssa, Izzy Mirando

D O P E Producers ~ Khas Swep & ToneSwep WINTER 2k13 Black Friday 2 Issue COPYRIGHT

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Pure DOPE Magazine Jessica D. Rivera A Quick Conversation with a DOPE GIRL from Chicago Interview by Tone Swep Photography: Briann Flynn

MUA: Megan O

Hot Product: Bouji Girl Apparel, Partly Cloudy Clothing, Ketta Vaughn Cosmetics (DOPE MAG: DM) If someone were to approach you and ask: "Who is Jessica Rivera?" What would be your response? (Jessica D. Rivera: Jessica) Jessica Rivera is a 23-year-old college student, soon to be college graduate, from Chicago, IL. She has a strong passion for modeling and graphic design. She's smart, fun to be around, has great energy, and has a great sense of humor. She's daring and loves to have fun. She loves photography as well. So look out Chicago! She's a triple threat. (DM) Trina stated in her interview with DOPE that being sexy made her feel confident, powerful. How does being sexy make you feel? (Jessica) I do feel that I have some sex appeal, however it doesn't make me feel confident. My confidence comes from within. I feel that my confidence is what makes me sexy. (DM) You are of Latin descent. What do you hold most dear about your Latin heritage? (Jessica) The fact that Latin women are very goal oriented, and I feel that I strongly possess that trait. However, my dad was Puerto Rican, and he was very prideful. Having pride in where you come from is something I carry with me wherever I go. I'm proud to be Black and Puerto Rican. 50/50. Best of both worlds. (DM) How would you label, or categorize, your style and approach to modeling? (Jessica) I feel I have a sweet, sexy style of modeling. When I first started modeling I kept it safe, after a while I started to get more comfortable and moved into more sexy modeling with bikinis and lingerie. However, my young appearance and baby face is what keeps my style sweet. (DM) You are all set to graduate from college soon. Which means you identified a huge goal and accomplished it. What is the next big goal you have identified for yourself? (Jessica) My next big goal is to keep growing. Growth is something that never stops. I feel I have so much more to learn both in the field of graphic design and in modeling. I plan to master photography as I move forward in life as well. So expect to see me grind even harder in every way possible after graduation. So be on the lookout, because I can show you better than I can tell you.

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Pure DOPE Magazine Drew Sidora A wonderful Conversation with a beautiful young Woman named Drew Sidora. Written by Tone Swep Photographers: TJ Manou & Alan Weissman Hair: Paul Desmarre

MUA: Katrina Caplan

Stylist: Ali Levine

(Tone Swep: TS) You were inarguably one of the busiest young actresses in Hollywood from ’07 to ‘11. Big screen projects, television movies, sitcom guest appearances, and of course The Game - you took med-school’s man! Do you feel as if your lead role in the TLC biopic served as a re-introduction? (Drew Sidora: Drew) Amen! Thank you for recognizing. I graduated from high school early in order to pursue my career, so I began working in the industry very young. Then after going through some hardships in life I needed time, felt as though I was missing out on nieces and nephews, best friends getting married, the personal things; seemed like they were growing up and I was just set to set, project to project, but missing out on some real life things. I wanted grow both as a person and as an artist. The TLC film was just the most perfect role to showcase by emotional and dramatic side, dancing, comedic sides. It was a definite rebirth and reintroduction. I’m so happy people are supporting it and loving it. (TS) The TLC story means so much to so many fans, and your portrayal of T-Boz is without question award worthy. What initially attracted you to the role and project? (Drew) Well, I was a super huge TLC fan growing up. And ironically enough, my friends and I would record ourselves on tape and I would always play T-Boz (Laughs!). My agents and managers sent me the script. I wasn’t even in LA, so to audition I just hung up the little white sheet in my bathroom, brought in about 10 lamps for the good lighting (Laughs!), and just went into character. Usually they don’t even except that format. But it worked because the whole process was just very divine. It was very meant for me to play T-Boz. In researching her I found out that she was a Taurus like me, and also originally from the Midwest. And even with her having Sickle Cell, it’s just… I mean, I have been the spokesperson for that cause for the last eight years in Chicago. That’s no coincidence. That’s divinity. (TS) What’s the next big film we can expect to see you in? (Drew) What I will say is I am definitely very blessed with a lot of opportunities right now. You’re going to see me doing a lot of different things you’ve never seen me do. Whether it comes in the form of an action film, or period piece, look forward to seeing me pop up in something very different. I’m really at a point where I want to break down barriers. Open up doors for other actresses by not being cast in a project typical of what an African-American actress does. I want to open doors just as Black actresses before me have. I’m in a great place and just so excited about my life and career.

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Pure DOPE Magazine (TS) You have accomplished so much at such a young age. Ever in awe of your own track record? Like, damn I’ve done a lot and I’m not even 30. (Drew) I have to thank you for saying that. It’s when I hear people say it that I look back at it. Because I’m always in the mind-state of discovering. What else can I do? What else can I grow in? It’s always great to have a stable career where you are always able to work. I’ve always been able to continue to work, never been counted out. I continue to look forward and move on to do great things. (TS) Music has also been a priority of yours for some time. How has your sound evolved? (Drew) I think the sound is the same. The integrity is always there. I just think that vocally, lyrically, stylistically, I have grown so much. You live life and suffer loss and tragedy and it feeds your music, the content, just having that to draw from, and then having the music as an avenue to release it. It’s cool to have fun songs like “Juke It” – okay cool I’m from Chicago and I like to dance and have fun. But timing is everything. Now my music serves a greater, stronger purpose. It’s more of a testimony. Cute and sexy at the same time, but I want to give you depth as well. (TS) Where are you with the whole drill-Hop movement? Does the rap sub-genre foster the climate of violence that persists there in Chicago? I think it’s a combination of things. I think the foundation our city is built on is faulty. When I say that, I’m speaking of politics. The responsibility is on our law makers, city leaders, community leaders, and celebrities such as myself to be better leaders. Many of us who made it are now living and working outside of Chicago. We need to all come back to our city. Too often, we don’t come back to share real life. There is such a lack of jobs and resources here. People who are wealthy don’t really help the poor. Neighborhoods have 20 liquor stores instead of 20 Whole Foods markets. I’ve been here working with different ministers and politicians. We still have guns in the streets, but the crime rate is down 22%. We have to address the issue of the criminals. You can’t just lock everybody up. You have to address the problem and not be afraid to get your hands dirty. We have to promote and create change. (TS) What artist are you riding to right now? I know your little sister Keke Palmer raves about Drizzy. (Drew) Man!!!! I was going to say that. Drake inspires me. Me and my producer were just having a conversation about he and his music. Drake isn’t afraid to be submissive at times, or say: “Man she’s a queen. I’m going home”. Drake’s music comes from Drake as a person. Artists need to be more honest. People want to hear what’s real, tired of gimmicks. I commend Drake for the honesty in his music. (TS) What inspires you most in life? What moves and motivates Drew Sidora? (Drew) I would say first of all God. Also just living. Life itself. I didn’t know why I was playing the piano at 3-years-old. It was a gift and I’m fortunate that my family recognized my gifts and encouraged me. But I do this for my family. Getting college paid for, for my young nieces and nephews. Also, my city. I do this for Chicago. A lot of people here have lost hope. I am constantly doing this work while mindful of the love I have for my son as well. These are the people and Chicago is the place I am most inspired by. COPYRIGHT

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Pure DOPE Magazine (TS) How has motherhood changed you? (Drew) Oh! My God! I’m more on time. I’m more mindful and cognizant of people and being more responsible. I’m buying my son stuff before myself. I’m more nurturing now. Just a better all-around woman. I’m working smarter, not harder. And it’s fun because now I’m having those moments when I can go back to Chucky Cheese. I’m more family-oriented and just looking at life differently. It’s made me a better cook too because my son will be honest if I prepare something and he doesn’t like it (Laughs!). (TS) We interviewed Trina recently and she said being sexy makes her feel strong and confident. How does being sexy make you feel? (Drew) Sexiness is something all women possess. A lot of us don’t know it. Some grow up and have that geeky or awkward stage. But being sexy makes you feel like a woman. Like, no longer just a pretty girl. But a sexy woman loves herself and loves everything she possesses, even her flaws. (TS) Are there ever times when you get tired of being a dime? Like, damn. Can a sister just be a six so she can roll up in Target and get toiletries without getting hit on? (Drew) (Laughs!) Oh! Am I a dime? I don’t ever feel like I’m a dime. Chivalry is dead. Men do not cater and step to the women like they should anymore. Men try to devalue women. I’m constantly disappointed. Where are the men at?!?! Where are they? Maybe I should demote and be a six then so the men will come out of hiding (Laughs!). (TS) How would you define or describe your personal sense of fashion? There is this B-Girl Drew that we all love, sort of the Snapback and J’s Chi-Town tomboy side. But you are known to go glam as well. (Drew) You said it right. I am most of the time tomboyish, very much a dancer and B-Girl. Like right now I’m in my boots, leather jacket, jeans, and skully cap. I’m either in my b-boy get up or lounge wear. But if I’m going to step out now, hold on! I’m either really low-key comfortable. Or if I’m going out, I’m going out! Feel as beautiful as I can. I don’t glamorize that often, so when I do. I definitely do. (TS) What song will be sung at your wedding? Who will be singing it? And why? (Drew) My sister Christa! Her voice is ridiculous. I am going to submit her on The Voice, my aunt and I decided that today. Her voice is strong but gives you peace. Song? Something by Anita Baker. I love her. (starts singing Anita Baker classics) “You give me Joy”. Oooh, there are so many! (keeps singing). “Giving you the best that I got”. I don’t know for sure. Oooh, you gone have me playing Anita all day now. (TS) If you could offer a survival tip for young women trying to make it in this world, what is it? (Drew) Get your bible. Get your word. That’s all you need. Whatever the struggle - relationships, finances, loss. You can go there and find peace and direction for life. Going through my struggles and storms, that was my compass for life. The bible. There is not a gimmick that’s going to help get you through. It’s not makeup, the gym, or weight loss. None of that. It’s the bible. COPYRIGHT

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Pure DOPE Magazine Lecrae

Written by Tone Swep Photographer: Marjoni McBride

Pure DOPE Magazine hung out with Grammy Winning rap artist LeCrae at the video shoot for his hot new single “I’m Turnt” off the highly anticipated mixtape Church Clothes 2. The rap artist is a unique figure in rap, able to create catchy crossover hits without abandoning his faith or promoting contradictory messages that would serve to dilute his musical movement. Now a CEO of his own label, Reach Records, ‘Crae kicked it with DOPE MAG editor ToneSwep in between takes to discuss good versus evil, having good intentions in an often evil industry, adjusting from being just an artist to also becoming an executive, and why fatherhood and future plans hold great importance to him.

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Pure DOPE Magazine (ToneSwep: TS) The relationship between Christianity and Rap music would seemingly be a fragile one, with Christian principles and morality competing with rap’s sexual sales climate and culture of violence. How have you found a common coexistence? (Lecrae: Lecrae) I think any time you’re talking progression, self-worth and positivity, you are met with opposition. Acknowledging both worlds was big for me and my career, because I think early on only Christian Rap enthusiasts were listening to my albums. Making sure the music is DOPE is also real important, because music is such a universal language so we stepped the production side up. People from different walks of life started to listen. You can find Christian principles in all types of music. It’s just when people hear the term Gospel Rap they think sermons. My music is not sermons. My music is songs. And the songs are about real walks of life. (TS) “Church Clothes” is the mixtape which proved to be your breakthrough into mainstream. What was different about the project that allowed it to resonate so well with more listeners? (Lecrae) It was intentionality. My albums prior to Church Clothes were more geared toward a Christian market. I didn’t know it at the time, or hadn't realized it, but my music was only coming from one side of my real life. Because I talk to people from all different walks of life, people at many levels, but my music was only reflecting the religious aspect of my life. I wasn’t initially trying to do that, the music I was creating was just catered to them. The "Church Clothes" mixtape was me making real music about my real life and it related to so many more people in a real way. (TS) Lupe Fiasco was once quoted as saying: He loves music. Loves business. But can’t stand the music business. Where are you with the music business? (Lecrae) I think the music business has evolved. It’s evolving still. But I found my way. And I feel I've found my way at the perfect time. Everyone is not privileged to be Bill Gates during the internet boom or Ford Motor Company when the car boom hit. But I emerged just at the right time, when being an independent artist is hot. I sold over 300,000 units independently, without radio. Like Jay Z said there are new rules. So I'm good with the music industry, where it is today, and how I fit in with it all. (TS) Talk a bit about Reach Life Ministries. Give us a mission statement and share with us the progress you've made towards that mission. (Lecrae) Reach Life is really about creating tools for the urban community. We don’t see resources and tools being created often enough, and I think this is why the youth often get discouraged. Because they have dreams, but those dreams sometimes don't become goals because they don't have the right support. Curriculum, scholarships, conferences, Reach Life provides services. These types of things are being done for the urban community. I’m proud of the Hip Hop community for donating money and time here and there, but I felt we could do more. More still needs to be done.

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(TS) What adjustments did you have to make in order to assume the role of a label head at Reach Records? What is required of you now, as an executive, versus what’s required of you as an artist? (Lecrae) I think one was taking myself out of the equation. A lot of artists who are running labels are self-consumed, and you sometimes have to be as an artist because your career is so demanding. I really try to step outside of myself and help my artists be what they need to. (TS) You won the Grammy Award for Best Gospel Album in 2013. How has the trophy changed life? (Lecrae) They started taking my phone calls (Laughs!). It’s crazy really because I didn’t know it carried that much weight within the industry. Up until winning, I always felt it was more of a fan appreciation thing. But at the same time I don't think it means you're better than others. I think Nas is one of the greatest MCs, but I wouldn’t say he is any less an MC just because he hasn't won a Grammy. (TS) Why was the “This is Fatherhood” initiative a priority for you? (Lecrae) I think a lot of times men are a plumb-line and bench mark in society. 90% of rapes are committed by men. Most violent crimes are committed by men. 85% of all inmates are men who didn’t have fathers. I knew we needed to remedy it by being good fathers. And being an entertainer, I can discuss the importance of fatherhood publicly, which is DOPE. I think things are headed in the right direction for the urban community in a lot of ways. The future is bright. COPYRIGHT

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Pure DOPE Magazine TINASHE Tinashe is a firefly hummingbird, the thunderbolt contemporary music needed - a lightning rod for cuteness, coolness, and creativity without the meltdown controversy now commonplace amongst pop stars. Her music screams freedom, chants rebellion, stands sex symbol, and unapologetically argues a level of liberated self-expression unheard since the days of a dancing Madonna and purple raining Prince. The pretty-20 with the articulate timbre, runway sashay, and flyest on Fairfax face refers to her empowering persona as “un-bounded-ness”: Freedom. Tinashe took a moment between looks at her DOPE MAG cover shoot in Hollywood to discuss her debut album, collaborations with Future and Mike Will, and why Rhythmic-Pop needed a mega-popular new poster girl. We out’chea workin’. Written by Tone Swep Photographer: YKMG Creative Director & Stylist: Brittany “Bella” Graham Hair: Gretta Roberts

MUA: Amanda Busche

Location: ADBD Studios on Fairfax in Los Angeles, CA Date: October 25th, 2013 (Tone Swep: TS) When you first interviewed with DOPE a year ago, the Reverie mixtape had just dropped. So much has happened on planet Tinashe since then. Bring us up to speed. (Tinashe) The biggest overlying theme of 2013 is that I started working on my first studio album with Sony/RCA. I’ve been in the studio working with the Crème de la Crème of Hip Hop producers. I have this amazing catalogue built up, and that’s really the most exciting time for an artist, when you have all of this new music and also with a deal and date to release it. I’m just really excited right now. (TS) There’s a certain classy rebellion in your music. This is represented on songs like “Who Am I Working For?” and “Boss”. Where does your sense of rebellion derive from? (Tinashe) I think what makes me interesting as a person is that I have so many contradictions to my personality. I’m obviously somebody who has good intentions and doesn’t have any ill will toward anyone, but then there is a side of me that doesn’t follow rules or conform to societal norms, and has issues with authority. COPYRIGHT

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Pure DOPE Magazine (TS) In this era of categories and genres and placing art in these lanes and boxes, how is your music best described and defined? (Tinashe) I think its rhythmic pop, because there’s definitely a very strong Hip Hop feel and influence, but then I’m a singer and dancer not a rapper. Hip Hop is probably the biggest influence. And then R&B, but the topics I sing about have more of a pop appeal. (TS) You have been a professional in the entertainment industry since your early teens. What has been the biggest revelation you’ve experienced thus far? (Tinashe) Honestly, I feel like I made the most important discovery kind of early on. And then I’ve affirmed it continuously throughout my career. You’re going to experience a lot of resistance and people are always going to tell you no. No matter how close you are to achieving your goals. No matter how great the art you create is. You will never reach a point where everyone is always agreeing with what you’ve created. Art is not universal at all times, or in all instances. You have to be confident in order to survive in the world of art and entertainment. This is something I realized early on. (TS) You clearly have your own look, sound, name. A style all your own. What do you feel is your next musical challenge? What are you reaching for? What’s the next musical conquest to conquer? (Tinashe) My next musical conquest is definitely radio. My music is something that has circulated in the underground for a few years. But now I’m at a place where I need to branch outside of the internet. And that means making subtle adjustments to appeal to a wider audience. I’ve gotten comfortable with creating these videos and songs, with doing media. So now it’s time to expand upon it all and deliver to a bigger audience of listeners, the radio. (TS) What can you tell us about your debut album? (Tinashe) It has some inspirations that have something to do with astrology. There’s stuff on there that has to do with relationships. There are a couple songs that are more youthful, just more about being young, getting drunk, and having fun (Laughs!). It will cover a wide variety of topics. I can’t tell you the theme or I’d be giving away too much. (TS) Jay Z says his debut album “Reasonable Doubt” will always be his best because it’s the project he took his whole life, up to that point, to make. Do you feel your debut is also your introduction to the world? It’s a different time now with the internet, mixtapes. (Tinashe) In a way. I feel that way because it is my introduction to the world. More people will discover me for the first time. But at the same time, I’m at this creative point in my life where I do have other projects prior to this with two previous mixtapes. So my album is sort of a continuation from those projects. My album is more of a formal introduction. You know of me through my mixtapes and videos, but will be formally introduced to me with this album.

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Pure DOPE Magazine (TS) How was working with Future? How much trouble did you two creative souls make? (Tinashe) We’ve made a few really, really good songs. We had like three days in the studio together down there in Atlanta. And everyone comes to the studio with good energy. Future’s just cool and chill. He’s a really awesome creative mind. (TS) You were also in the studio with producer Mike Will? How much trouble did you two make? (Tinashe) (Laughs!) I’m a troublemaker. No, but we caused a lot of trouble as well. We worked a couple of times actually, the first in LA, the second in NY. We’ve done a handful of songs now. We work and make songs until we find one that is amazing. Hopefully several make the album. (TS) If there was one musical icon who you’d love to learn listened to your music, who would they be? (Tinashe) I would love if Janet Jackson liked my music (Laughs!). If she said something like: “I’m just chilling right now, you know, cleaning my mansion. Listening to my girl Tinashe” (Laughs!). I would die! (TS) Is there a crazy single on the horizon we need to know about? (Tinashe) Probably at the top of the year. Look for something really hot from me before Valentine’s Day. (TS) How do you feel about the state of music today? Do the labels have too many walls up, too many long hallways for artists to walk down in order to get their creativity to the masses on a major? (Tinashe) I feel like music is definitely going in a more interesting direction. I think that radio is trying to branch out a little more and go outside the boxes and categories we touched on earlier. We live in this era of new and newer, people want everything to be new. And that also means they want new artists. So I think that is where I come in. I’m a new artist with a new sound and a new approach to pop music. (TS) What do you want from the entertainment industry? What do you feel the entertainment industry, in turn, wants from you? (Tinashe) I want to be able to reach a level of success where I can make a difference in a notable sense in the world. I want to impact a lot of people’s lives in a positive way, so to be able to do that consistently. And I feel like they’re just ready for a new voice and fresh face. I feel like we’ve had the same artists in the spotlight for the last six or seven years and something new and someone refresh is needed to spice things up. (TS) What excites you the most about life? What inspires you as an artist? (Tinashe) I’m mostly inspired by relationships that I either come across through family or friends. And I am also inspired by social media. It’s a look inside the mind of the world.

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Pure DOPE Magazine (TS) What’s the latest with Tinashe the video director? Let’s talk to that chick for a sec. (Tinashe) I hope in the future I’ll be able to shoot videos for other people and just direct. I just like to creatively create whatever I see in my mind without boundaries. It’s an awesome opportunity to collaborate with other people. And it’s great to have the ability. As long as I can do whatever I want to do. That’s is what I truly love to do. Whatever I want (Laughs!). (TS) You started off in film and television, as a character actress. Much of this natural theatrical ability gets displayed in your videos. Each viral you drop truly tells a story. When are we going to see you back on the TV screen? (Tinashe) At this point I’ve really just shut the whole acting thing down. I wanted people to respect me as a musician and singer. I’m not an entertainer trying to sing or an actor who also sings. I’m a musician first. If a part came to me that just blew me out of the water and I was amazed, I’d take it. But I’m not actively seeking screen roles at this time. (TS) Any other ventures on the horizon? Endorsements, modeling? (Tinashe) Well, right now I am the spokesperson for X OUT which is the new acne treatment from Proactiv. We have a few other things in the works. (TS) What makes you DOPE? (Tinashe) My sense of un-bounded-ness, if that’s even a word. It’s not having a fear to do what you think is cool. Because some people doubt what their instincts are and shift to the norm because that is what is readily accepted. But that’s what creativity is about, believing in what you create and in yourself, especially when it shifts from the norm. And I believe in my own creativity. That has been my personal greatest asset over the years: Self-reliance. Believing in my art and creativity. Believing that I’m DOPE.

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Pure DOPE Magazine B. Smyth Firmly cemented in the cracks of the soulful concrete on which he walks is singer B. Smyth, the heir apparent to a Motown set made famous by The Jackson 5, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder, to name just a few. The iconic label played a seminal role in the racial integration of popular music, and as such, was pivotal in becoming the soundtrack to the lives of those surviving in the civil rights-era 60’s. The songs and legends that created those hits are still embraced and celebrated today. After releasing his debut EP, The Florida Files, to respectful reviews and excited fan energy, Smyth, 21 - with the boyish good looks and mannish romantic voice accompanied by gliding dance moves and an illuminating smile - is ready to make his next move: superstardom. Soon after releasing his breakout single “Leggo”, featuring 2 Chainz, Smyth quickly became both a household name and thumb-tacked poster on the bedroom walls of teenaged girls nationwide. In addition to possessing the handsome magnetism for the ladies, the South Florida-native is also a macho marketers dream with a firm handshake for the homies. With his urbane style - clinging to a ridiculous snapback collection, an overflowing closet filled with once-worn J’s, and a couture gear fetish fresh off Fairfax - B. allows the fellas to identify with his sense of swag. He’s versatile. Stars just are. B. Smyth is an important addition to contemporary music and a welcome family member on Pure DOPE Magazine’s growing list of all-star cover guys. He dishes on being gifted, picking up where legends left off, and why big booties are better than fast cars. Written by Tone Swep Photographer: YKMG Creative Director & Stylist: Brittany “Bella” Graham Location: On the Streets of Hollywood, CA Date: October 7th, 2013

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(Tone Swep: TS) Let’s start off with Florida Files, your EP dropping in a week. There is some heat on there. And you shot visuals for every song on the project. Sounds and looks ambitious. (Brandon Smith: B. Smyth) I pretty much just wanted to give my fans as much content as I could. When I first started it was on YouTube. Then after I got signed to Motown I kind of fell back and went into recording and development. So I felt like I owed it to the fans to really have a lot of new music and videos for them, and I started a Vlog also. My fans are the best so you really want to give them what they deserve. (TS) Do you have a favorite song on the EP? For me it’s “Gettin’ That”, and a close second is “Letter”. But then I haven’t heard the project in its entirety. (B. Smyth) I think Gettin’ That is one of my favorites on there. And I like Vibe too. It has a real 80’s feel to it and takes you back to that place you were in when the songs of that era originally came out. (TS) Your brand of R&B lets us listeners know that true young talent still exists in the genre. Do you feel you have a classic R&B sound and style? (B. Smyth) I definitely do. I feel like its classic R&B as it relates to the new generation. I take my craft and this music very seriously. This is basically my life now, you know, being an artist. I live this every single day now. I grew up watching Michael Jackson, Bobby Brown, Usher, Chris Brown, so it’s important for me to continue to work hard and continue to accomplish what they accomplished. COPYRIGHT

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Pure DOPE Magazine (TS) You arrived with a big feature from 2 Chainz on “Leggo”. Any big features coming up on the Florida Files EP? (B. Smyth) We actually have one more feature on the EP, a song I did with Future called “Win Win”. (TS) You dance as well as sing. I wonder which talent you discovered first. (B. Smyth) Definitely the singing. I’ve only been dancing for about 3 and a half years now. And once I started getting into the dancing, and really started working to get better, it went hand in hand with my music. Like, I became better at both. I got with my homies and started training every day and really working on my dancing side. I still work hard at it. The singing comes more naturally. (TS) How would you describe your musical style? What is the B. Smyth brand of R&B? (B. Smyth) I tell people music should just be a feeling. If you play a song and don’t feel anything, it’s not hot. I sing for the younger generation, people around my age who are going through what I am going through or have gone through. I speak to and for the youth. Then also good melodies, good singing, DOPE videos, dancing. I try to put a lot into every song. There is so much to say and do in life. (TS) What about your gear game? What are some unique stamps you incorporate into your clothing when you step out? (B. Smyth) I love fresh kicks, but I’m not really a name head when it comes to clothes. But I gots! to have a fresh pair of J’s (Laughs!). So, J’s and a DOPE snapback. (TS) It is said there is a difference between being gifted, blessed with natural abilities, and talented where you have worked hard to develop a core skill. Which are you as it relates to being an entertainer, gifted or talented? (B. Smyth) I definitely feel like I’m gifted because me being able to sing, dance, and entertain people is a gift in and of itself. But at the same time it is still work. I continue to work hard to perfect my craft and build upon my gift to make it stronger. But I feel more gifted than talented. (TS) You grew up in South Florida, Ft. Lauderdale area. Talk a little about your upbringing. (B. Smyth) I came up on both sides. Saw some of everything. My pops is from Jamaica. So I got an opportunity to live that side, the islands, through him. My mother was born and raised in Florida. I feel like in Florida we’re straight-on with it. It’s straight up with us, you know. We’ll say it to you straight. I think that is what makes Florida different from anywhere else.

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(TS) Being signed to Motown, such an iconic label with a storied history in making legendary urban music – Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder – any added pressure to deliver greatness, like good isn’t enough? (B. Smyth) There is in a way, but then I feel like the only pressure is within myself. I apply that pressure to myself to better myself, because I do want to place my name with the greats. Those were amazing artists. The only thing I can do is match my career around theirs, study the steps they took and try to continue from where they left off. (TS) Give us a crazy fan story. I know you have a groupie or stalker scenario for us, B. (B. Smyth) (Laughs!) I don’t think I’ve had a crazy experience yet. But I do have this one girl that goes everywhere we go. When I first started and Leggo dropped I did a showcase in New York, and she was there. Then the next day we did a show in Tampa, and she was there. Then she was in Miami to see me perform the next day, and that’s like a seven hour drive (Laughs!). Then we did 106 And Park a couple days later and she was there too. And that was really humbling, honestly. I appreciate fans like her so much. Shout out to her, whoever she is.

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Pure DOPE Magazine (TS) If she wants to one day become B’s girl. She must possess this core quality. (B. Smyth) She just has to have one quality, and that’s just be able to laugh at yourself and be cool. I meet different people every day. All types of ladies everywhere I go. If she is a good person, a happy person, if her vibe is right, then we’re good. So many people’s vibes are off. If she laughs and has a good time with me and can just chill, that works for me. (TS) Big ass or pretty smile? (B. Smyth) Big ass! I’m from the south (Laughs!). Come on man! (TS) Fast car or nice laugh? (B. Smyth) Nice laugh, because some girls… I don’t know what some girls be doing (Laughs!). Like, the car is not going to make you. When I meet you, you’re probably not even in the car for me to see it anyways (Laughs!). (TS) Rich with a bad attitude? Or broke with a big heart? (B. Smyth) I gotta take the broke with the big heart. Some may feel that’s the wrong choice of the two, but being in this industry you have to learn how to move in a room full of wolves. It is great to meet and know a girl with a big heart. (TS) If there is one thing you would like to say directly to your fans, what is it? (B. Smyth) That I appreciate everyone that supports me 100%. I’m one of the artists who enjoys giving back. This isn’t about me. I’m just the artist who is bringing the music and everything to them. So I appreciate the fans so much. Know that I appreciate you. (TS) What makes B. Smyth DOPE? (B. Smyth) I’m just real. What you see is what you get with me. I’m not really the type to be in your face about everything. I just let my music and talent speak for itself. I’m DOPE because I’m DOPE. No gimmicks with me. What you see is what you get. And what you get is real.

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Pure DOPE Magazine Colette Carr She made her unofficial introduction - to a crowd who would soon become her fanatical fan-base - with bold spontaneity: by free-styling on a UCLA stage at a Game concert. This was in ’09, when the fun-spirited Cali girl was just breaking into the entertainment industry. Fast-forward to the present – Colette Carr’s debut album Skitszo, released on Cherrytree/Interscope, is on fire and her latest single “HAM” featuring Ben J is only fanning those flames. The colorful creative spirit talks Malibu misconceptions, dropping records, and moving to Mexico with executive editor ToneSwep. Written by Tone Swep Photographers: Salvador Ochoa & Nikko LaMere (Tone Swep: TS) How has life changed since dropping Skitszo, your debut album, back in July? (Colette Carr: CC) I think it made things real for a lot of people that weren’t sure if it was going to happen. And then it affected my lifestyle in the sense that I have an actual album in stores. You get used to the instant gratification that comes from recording music and immediately putting it out on social media. It’s addictive. Just releasing music as soon as you make it and then going and performing it. Now I’m still in the studio every night creating new music. Releasing an album with a major label is a big accomplishment. (TS) It is, particularly in this day and time with the indie grind. Congratulations on that mama. (CC) Oh, thank you. Thanks man. (TS) Your new single “HAM” is buzzing. How did the collab with Ben J come together? (CC) Ben and I were kicking it in the studio and it was just kind of natural. That’s how all my features for Skitszo were though. I can’t imagine doing it any other way, you know. Like, trying to force it and make something hot instead of just letting it happen naturally? No way. And the song is different in that there’s a banging chorus, but then the beat is slower. People party to it. They phuk with it which is a great feeling. The video is pretty artistic. The fans get it. A little different and weird, almost to the point you would think the sounds may conflict but they don’t. Meshing my raps and Ben’s was real easy.

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Pure DOPE Magazine (TS) What’s the latest with the Coca Nico stores? Your retail spots in San Francisco and Las Vegas. They took off in 2010 and remain very popular among shoppers. (CC) It’s an odd thing, because people hear Coca Nico and call it a brand but it’s retail store. I’m on my way over there to check on my San Francisco store now. It’s a real store. It’s a fashion and designer travel store. We sell all sorts of crazy sh!t in there. The coolest part about having your own store is I get to play my own music videos and make my own rules. That’s really cool. We have custom luggage and one of a kind stuff. And it’s awesome to have total creative control over something. I mean, I’m blessed to be at CherryTree Records and have creative control, but at the end I still have to ask someone’s opinion. At Coca Nico my sister and I can do whatever the phuk we want (Laughs!). (TS) You’re originally from Malibu. Tell us something about the ritzy, wealthy, beachfront area only people from there would know. (CC) Malibu is one of the most beautiful places in the world. But it’s also filled with some of the most lost, lonely, depressed, confused people you’ll ever meet. Kids that grow up in big homes overlooking the ocean that can’t match or live up to what their parents want from them. A lot of sh!t that doesn’t happen in the hood happens in Malibu because the money is there to do the wildest sh!t and get away with it. Like, when you mix wealth and crazy a$$ people a lot of wild sh!t goes down. That’s Malibu. (TS) Almost 20 million views on VEVO. What are these Goers looking at? (CC) I think that the Goers feel pretty connected with me. I’m always on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. I’m transparent in that way. You can read my timeline and get a feel for who I really am. Dude! I’m on here! I’m on the internet. I’m out here (Laughs!). They feel like they know me. My music videos are just an extension of me. That is my favorite part actually. That’s like the culmination of everything you’ve created are your videos. I have 10 music videos out now. (TS) You mix Pop and Rap very well. What’s the hottest thing about being in both lanes? (CC) It’s funny you say that, because a lot of people don’t get that. I’m waiting for people to get it. For a lot of producers it sparks their interest. They instantly want to work with me. I think they see it as an opportunity to explore more than one side of their music. (TS) Do you feel an added sense of responsibility to be inspiring? Especially with so many young fans? (CC) I mean, I do me. But at the same time I feel like I’ve had that responsibility sense I was 6-years-old. It’s strange, but I’ve just always felt that way. Like other kids were going to do whatever I did so I needed to watch it. I feel like young girls need as many role models as possible now. I party. I have fun. But I also try to inspire my fans and followers.

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(TS) If you weren’t a pop star and fashionista, what would you be doing? (CC) I don’t phukn know. Maybe like braiding hair in Mexico or something (Laughs!). (TS) Fill in the blank: If __ proposed to you today, you would say yes without question. (CC) I’m not trying to be wifey’d down right now. I don’t need a guy holding me back and blocking sh!t I’m doing and things I have going on. Boyfriends are cool. He’d have to be the best human being ever. (TS) You live an exciting life. You make exciting music. And have the sexiest party videos in the game. If you could add one thing to your repertoire, what would it be? (CC) I just want to go one deeper with the lyrics. I tend to lean toward the poetically vague side so everyone can relate. But I think I need to write some lyrical content that’s deeper and I definitely will for the next album or EP. It will be a healthy challenge for me, and I have stories to tell and things to express, a message to share. So making songs that convey that side of my writing and song making, I would say that’s my next big step. And I’m going to take it.

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Pure DOPE Magazine Titus Makin Actor Titus Makin is one of young Hollywood’s rising new stars. After costarring on Glee, the New York Conservatory of Dramatic Arts alum landed an acclaimed role on Star-Crossed, an exciting and sexy new sci-fi romance airing on the CW Network early next year. Titus talks about his series character, Lukas, preparing for such a demanding role, and why his Christian faith has played the most important part of any cast member in his life. This ain’t a movie dawg! Well… actually. It is. Written by Tone Swep (Tone Swep: TS) Man! Star-Crossed is going to be one of those Vampire Diaries, Twilight level series in the sci-fi realm. Talk a little about the show and congrats on being such a big part of it by the way. (Titus Makin: TM) Thanks! It’s a sci-fi romance that takes place in 2024. These aliens land on earth and we overtake them, quarantine them, and then take them to internment camps in Louisiana. We want to see if they can co-exist with us, if humans and aliens can share the same place in the world. Then of course there are romantic entanglements, battles, beefs, so many subplots and story arcs. I play the role of Lukas who is the best friend of the main character Emery (played by Aimee Teegarden). And it’s her first year in high school, so I aid her with comedic relief and companionship. I’m the friend who cushions the fall. And the tech savvy friend who figures our way out of a few dilemmas. (TS) How did you prepare for the role? (TM) Lucky for me my character doesn’t take part in much of the combat or hand-to-hand battle action. So the physically demanding things weren’t difficult at all, but of course learning the language and dialect and the history of the show. We’re creating a new show in a time period that hasn’t happened yet. We’re creating the future. (TS) How did you get your start in acting? (TM) I started in dancing and music, so I didn’t really have the acting bug bite me until my senior year of high school. I auditioned for a part and was cast in a large role.

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(TS) Having said that, do you feel you are more of a natural at acting? Or has this still been a learned experience and career endeavor for you? (TM) It was natural for the sake of me enjoying acting for the right reasons. Being myself in front of people came naturally. I auditioned for the New York Conservatory after high school and was accepted. Acting is a thing where if you just relax, it will fall into your lap. Techniques are important, but there are so many techniques I haven’t grasped. Some I don’t even understand (Laughs!). But yes, I would say I am more of a natural at acting. The technical aspect is what I continue to work on. Method, and so on. (TS) What is your ideal role? (TM) Actually, this TV show is as close to that as I will get. I mean, I get to be smart, funny, and adventurous. On the big screen, maybe something like Will Smith’s role in Independence Day. (TS) What are the big differences between acting for the big screen versus television? (TM) I would say that with television you have more time to get into character, become a fan of your own character, and so the viewers do as well. You get to grow over months and months and months, and if you’re blessed, years and years. But with film it’s very much that hour and a half and you have to grab your audience’s attention and keep them.

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Pure DOPE Magazine (TS) How was Australia? You just got back. (TM) It was amazing, my first time being over there. It was great, man. It’s a place every person should visit at least once. I was jet-lining through the jungles and doing flips on the beach (Laughs!). Can’t wait to go back. Very fun. Love Australia. (TS) Give us one thing no one would guess about you. (TM) Maybe that I have OCD (Laughs!). I’m a big cleaner, well not really a cleaner. I’m more of a straighten-er (Laughs!). If I place my keys on the table, I have to set them in a certain place each time. Or like, if there are candles, or the remote control, on the table I have to turn them so they are facing a certain direction. I’m not as bad as Monk. You’ve seen that show? But I’m pretty bad (Laughs!). (TS) What is the absolute greatest thing about being an actor? (TM) Oh, my gosh. There’s a few things, actually. Hard to answer and give ‘ya just one. I would say having a platform to share a message with so many people. Whatever the message is, we’re sharing it on a huge platform and people are listening to what we need to say. Sharing a part of the world that people wouldn’t normally or don’t always get to experience. It’s a very unique opportunity. Very few people are actors. (TS) Give an aspiring actor some sound advice. (TM) I would say that your work ethic is most important. It always starts there with anything. And then a lot of times people feel like they’re not in the right city, like I grew up in a small city in Arizona. But there is always drama class, or some community theatre or something in your city you can get involved in. Also, go for the early pursuits of things. Find out ways to get involved with the craft. And then really defining for yourself if it’s a genuine passion that you want to pursue. And I know for me, something that has always been important is my faith. I come from a Christian household and my Christian faith has always been the foundation of anything I do.

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Pure DOPE Magazine Mia Von Glitz We caught up with Mia Von Glitz after a late night and double-header gig with her Guns N' Roses tribute band, Guns and Hoses, and her original group Mad Moon Riot. The sultry stage screamer dishes on rock band influences, not owning a TV, what makes her a DOPE GIRL, and good old fashioned Rock N’ Roll with 720 Circle guitarist Vanessa “Izzy” Mirando. Written by Vanessa Izabella Mirando (Vanessa Izabella Mirando: Izzy) What does Mad Moon Riot stand for? Not only as a name, but also what it represents as a band? (Mia Von Glitz: Mia) Well, band names are a funny thing. Ours came out of some random words being thrown around on some drunken nights. We started out with the three of us, Mia, Matt and Ru, we took the first letter of our first names, MMR, and started throwing around names. I liked the word "Mad" and wanted to use that somehow, and we came up with Mad Moon Riot. As far as what we represent, musically, we are Rock N' Roll. It seems like a lot of music these days is more pop rock. We are good old fashioned Rock N' Roll. (Izzy) What bands have you been influenced by? (Mia) We all have similar influences that brought us together. Some of them aren't very obvious in our music, but we love Guns N Roses, Metallica, I was very influenced by female artists like Joan Jett. We love anything that Jack White does. It's a hard question because we have so many influences to pull from. (Izzy) Is it weird going from a corporate setting with your job at the FOX network by day, and then being a Rock n' Roller by night? What are some of your responsibilities at FOX? (Mia) It's not as weird as people would think. I have been used to working long days. I have my job at FOX during the day, and go right to rehearsal or the studio, or a gig at night. Working in TV, the last thing I want to do when I get home is watch TV. I don't even own a TV (Laughs!). My boss is great and aside from being tired some mornings it all works out great. As far as my responsibilities at FOX, I work in the special Ops department. Some of the shows I work on include Raising Hope, Glee, New Girls, The Mindy Project, and some award shows like the Teen Choice Awards. (Izzy) Country Music, Hip Hop, Pop, and R&B music each have their own stigma and reputation surrounding them, what do you feel is the stigma around Rock N’ Roll music today? (Mia) I think the stigma for Rock N’ Roll today varies. There are a lot of artists like Jack White and The Raconteurs that are more up to date with their blues-infused riffs that are more modern rock that are great. Then you have the old school Classic Rock, which to some may seem old and outdated. But its classic and tons of people still love it, but no one is making that kind of music anymore and it's hard to put a finger on why. COPYRIGHT

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Pure DOPE Magazine (Izzy) I know in Guns N' Hoses you play bass, and obviously you sing in Mad Moon Riot, do you play any other instruments? (Mia) No, I wish. I picked up the bass pretty late in life. I played a little violin as a kid and picked up the guitar around 11, mostly because everyone was picking up instruments and it was cool. A lot of my friends at school were playing guitar and I was picking it up and loving it so I asked my parents for one. I played around with it and took lessons, but I never got good enough to do anything with it. I think it's because I have small hands and I've had to work really hard at it. When I picked up a bass for the first time it felt so natural. Bass, only having the four strings, it didn't feel so complex. It felt like me, and it felt right in my hands. I quickly kinda learned to play by playing with other people and stuff. It's really the only instrument I play. (Izzy) What is the wildest jam session you ever had? (Mia) I know exactly what it is, but I don't know if I should talk about it (Laughs!). It's incredibly mind blowing. I'll just say it was at a house of a guy who was a prolific producer during the 80's and 90's, and as you can imagine he has this incredible list of pals that were at this party. It was everybody from Mel Gibson to Micky Dolenz and John Stamos. Craig Robinson was on the piano, it was insane. Everyone was going crazy and grabbing an instrument, it was very cool. I'm going to say it was the coolest jam session I was ever at, but I was too scared to get up and play. It was really, really cool. (Izzy) What are your favorite cities to party in? (Mia) LA and NY of course. I haven't traveled outside of the country very recently, but I used to go to Europe a ton and I loved Barcelona, it was a really fun city to party in. I went to Morocco recently, to Marrakesh, which was sun and fun, but it was hard to find a party there. Lisbon in Portugal was really, really fun. London is great, I'd love to get back to London really soon, especially since two of the guys in the band are from there. Also Dublin, which is an incredible city to party in for sure. I remember one of my first trips to Europe as a young teen, I went to Ireland without my folks and just went to Temple Bar and sat on the street and listened to people pan handle and play music for money. It was just a party out on the street, it was so much fun. (Izzy) Can you describe your sense of style as it relates to fashion? (Mia) My style in life is very different from my style on stage. I definitely take a little bit of leeway with my stage wear. If I wore what I wear normally on stage, people would probably throw tomatoes at me. On stage you gotta be a little flashy, show a little skin. It’s fun to do that as well, it's like saying: "I'm gonna rock this outfit and there's not a damn thing you can do about it". My style is definitely rock, a little edgy. On stage it’s a little scandalous and in real life I like to wear floral dresses and there's nothing you can do about it. I like to pair rock elements with softer elements. Maybe I'll wear a floral dress with combat boots and a leather jacket. I don't think that's terribly outside the realm of what’s popular these days. I love the style of Frances Bean Cobain, and Kate Moss, anyone who's putting that little rocky edge in. I love a t-shirt with a blazer, that's always an easy look, and lots of necklaces. I like playing with a lot of lipstick colors as well. If you wake up and you still have make-up on from the night before, and you don't want to do much to make yourself look good and you just want to go to brunch, I'll put on some bright red lipstick cause that'll just make it work. COPYRIGHT

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(Izzy) What makes Mia Von Glitz a DOPE a$$ chick? (Mia) Well, that's a good a$$ question (Laughs!). I never really thought about what is DOPE about myself. I really like the word DOPE, and I like how you use that in your magazine title. I don't know, I just try and do what I do and be myself and hope that other people aren't going to find it too offensive. I know that I have a biting tongue, that's for sure. I say a lot of trash words. I am not for children. I have been very lucky to have this incredible fan-base that has followed me from band to band, I don't know, but it's really cool. A lot of them have a younger side, and it makes me a little wary because I don't want to do anything that is going to influence people negatively. I do have a very big message of spreading love. It's become a quote that people send back to me a lot, so it's my mantra - I like to add to the end "Spread love like legs". You get that positive message, and also the message that's not so great for children. I have a split personality I guess. My boyfriend likes to call me "country heart, city mouth". That kind of sums me up in a nutshell (Laughs!). (Izzy) What advice would you have for an up and coming female artist or musician? (Mia) I would say, do it for fun. I think there is a real misstep when you get into it to be famous, or to be selling out stadiums. I don't think that’s something that happens quite that often, especially these days. Music is so niche that if you are trying to be the next big super-band, I want to tell you to try and stop doing that because it doesn't really exist anymore. Even the bands that are huge and at the top of the world have three years at best and then all you can do is try and capitalize on what you made that was huge and go from there. People are so A.D.D with music these days, they may buy your first album, but might not come back to buy the second one. So it's about evolving, going with the times. COPYRIGHT

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Pure DOPE Magazine Justin Durant From Hampton University to the NFL, pro football player Justin Durant knows all about focus. He’s an outside linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys — “America’s Team — and has built an impressive resume. Currently in his 7th season, Justin has 378 total and 466 combined tackles. He’s aggressive on the field and a kind of low-key cool off of it. He hails from South Carolina, but puts his southern charm aside when it’s time to go hard in the paint (on the field). It’s no easy feat to live the American Dream. Work, work, and more work is the name of the game and Justin puts it in, day after day. Between training, practice, studying film, and all that it takes to be successful in the NFL, the 28year-old hard-hitter talks with DOPE’s Arionne Alyssa about physicality, family, and the unspoken truth behind women on football Sundays. Written by Arionne Alyssa Photographer: Doug Coombe (Arionne Alyssa: AA) You’re currently playing for the iconic Dallas Cowboys, known as “America’s Team.” Is there any added pressure playing on a team with such a huge legacy? (Justin Durant: Justin) No, I don’t feel it personally because I put the most pressure on myself to perform. I hold myself up to such high standards and I push myself every day so it’s more pressure coming from me than anyone else. (AA) When you see people on TV, it’s easy to make assumptions about what their life is like, but I’m sure, we really have no idea. What’s a day in the life like in your shoes? (Justin) My life is just routine and boring (Laughs!). Wake up early, go to training, go to practice, go to the weight room, go to meetings, go study—more practice, more meetings. Then, I rest up and get ready for the next day. I don’t do too much extracurricular during the season.

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(AA) So I’m training for a half-marathon and I’m learning that there’s way more to physical stuff than just athleticism. What characteristics do you need to be a champ? (Justin) To be a champ? Well, first off, you have to be motivated, dedicated, and passionate. It’s much more to it than just having skill. There are a lot of people that have talent, but that don’t have the mindset to work hard for it. It’s difficult to have the foresight to see that the work you’re putting in, doing the same thing every day, is preparing you for that place you’re trying to get to. (AA) You’re from South Carolina. Do you think that the Southern gentleman charm has affected how you interact with people? (Justin) (Laughs!) I guess. It’s just how my mom raised me. I’m naturally a nice person and my mom taught me to respect people and to hold doors. It’s who I am, so I guess you could say that. (AA) You went to Hampton. How do you think having an HBCU experience differs from that of a majority college? COPYRIGHT

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(Justin) It was harder. We didn’t have a national platform to play on. People didn’t get to watch us every week on TV, but we were glad that the higher ups were able to find us. Our mentality was that if you’re good and you work hard, you’ll get noticed. We watched the guys in the NFL playing on TV and we wanted to get there, too. (AA) You’re the iPod DJ king, right? So what’s currently playing in your iPod? (Justin) The new Solange compilation, Saint Heron. It’s real cool. It’s kind of a different sound—R&B that’s pushing the boundaries. She has a lot of cool stuff on there. (AA) You do a lot of giving back, especially your work with troubled kids. How important is it to always give back?

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(Justin) We’re just in a space that we can help people. They see what we do on the daily and it gives us a platform to help. I used to think that none of that really mattered until I found out that you can actually touch people by being in the public eye. I try to be the best that I can be and give back when I can. (AA) What drives you every day? (Justin) I’ve been blessed with this opportunity and I’m going to make the best of it because a lot of people aren’t in this position. I have a young daughter and every time I see her face, it motivates me. It’s tough to work every day, putting your body through it all, but I do it for my daughter and to represent for my family.

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Pure DOPE Magazine (AA) How do you define success? (Justin) I don’t necessarily look at it as whether or not you accomplish all of your goals, because sometimes you can’t. It’s a tough world and everyone isn’t as fortunate. For me, I’ve been successful. I went to a NCAA school—I wasn’t recruited by any major university—and I still made it to the NFL. I didn’t think that was attainable until it around my junior year of school. My definition of success is just being happy, finding love, doing what you love, and being good at it. (AA) So this is probably the toughest question. For a lot of girls, football can be intimidating. Trust me, I took a football class last season and it was filled with confused women. What’s your advice for women when it comes to football season: A) Learn the game and watch it with your man? B) Help him host football Sunday parties for he and his friends or C) Just cook and then get out of the way? (Justin) (Laughs!) Mannnnn! Honestly, with most men, especially men who like football, it’s rare that they honor a woman’s opinion on it. Help him host, but maybe go hang out with your friends during the second half. Go do the girl thing and let him have time with his guys (Laughs!).

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Pure DOPE Magazine Micah Kiyo Atlanta’s rising pop star Micah Kiyo is uniquely and unapologetically original. The beautiful Black and Japanese-American songstress has mastered the art of being domestically demure, undauntedly confident, and unequivocally driven, all with a strong sense of family, loyalty, and purpose in an industry plagued by phoniness and the desire to fit in. With songs like “Diamond Curves” and “Superhero Boots,” Micah has created her own sound, one she has dubbed “Global Pop,” with no worries about trying to match the status quo. In contrast, Micah is known to possess that strong sense of individuality which appeals to the powerful. When she hits the stage, her presence is atypical of the common performer and her rare ability to command the attention of anyone in a 50-yard radius is felt throughout the building. Some were simply born to shine. Stars, for example. In between her busy rehearsal, studio session, and label meeting schedule, Micah called timeout, stepped away from her awesome support team, and sat down with Pure DOPE Magazine Director Arionne Alyssa to talk that talk honey. Written by Arionne Alyssa Photographer: Porsha Antalan Stylist: Doe & Laurent

Creative Director: Reiko Clark Hair: Kelli J. Stylez

Hot Product: Haus Von Lila, Zara, Free People, Top Shop, Jeremy Scott Adidas Location: Porsha Antalan Studios in Atlanta, GA. Date: November 25th, 2013

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Pure DOPE Magazine (Arionne Alyssa: AA) You really have unique and memorable music. How did you develop your “Global Pop” sound? (Micah Kiyo: MK) It’s funny because I’ve always felt like my lane has been Pop. Even back when R&B was hot, I still was doing Pop music. And it wasn’t great Pop music (Laughs!) because I was just starting out. I’ve continued to develop myself as a Pop artist because I sing and dance at the same time and because my personality is so positive and energetic that I feel like it’s the perfect fit for me. (AA) You have a ton of family support in your career. How did was the decision made for you to enter the industry? Was it a collective one? (MK) My parents kind of grew up in the industry. My dad started dancing on Soul Train and was in the original “Dream Girls” on Broadway. Then, he was in Michael Jackson’s “Bad” video so he’s been in the performance industry for a very long time. When I told him that I wanted to sing, he wasn’t surprised at all. He played a huge part in my developmental years, as far as training me to be the artist that I am today. Then, my mom is on the other side. She started off in makeup and hair, then she went into styling and designing sets. That evolved into graphics and design on the marketing, branding side. So after five years of development, my dad thought that I was ready for the push and my mom jumped on board. It was just a natural progression. (AA) Did you always know that this was what you wanted to do? (MK) Music and movement has always been a part of me. I’ve been doing it since before I can remember. I recall being on stage one time as a kid at a fashion show and as soon as I got off, I said, “Mom, I wanna do it again!” It’s like I’m most comfortable on stage. It’s always been something that I wanted to do. It’s never been a question, ever. (AA) Being of both Black and Japanese descent, you get enriched by two very different but cool cultures. What about your personality do you think comes from each? (MK) Musically and movement-wise, I feel that I connect more with my black side, especially with the rhythm. I think my Asian side comes into play in my food preferences, though. My favorite food is raw fish (Laughs!). I definitely have the palate of a Japanese woman. Then also, I have the Asian culture of servitude. To my father, my brothers, and the men in my life. It’s hard to break the habit.

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Pure DOPE Magazine (AA) Even though you have that strong sense of servitude, a lot of your music is empowering; screams confidence. Where does your personal strength come from? (MK) My mother, she is the Japanese parent, and even though she instilled in me to serve others and to serve the men in my life, she also showed me, that no person or situation defines me— I define me. Stuff may happen or people may say things that are not encouraging, things that are ugly, in an attempt to tear you down. But, at the end of the day, you have to know who you are and that’s all that matters. You have to stand on that and I think she did a really good job of instilling that in me. (AA) What are you currently working on? (MK) Right now, I am working on recording new music—that’s number one. Also, a really huge focus is getting myself out there. I feel that I’m kind of known in the industry here in Atlanta, but I want to broaden my horizons with the youth and with people that aren’t necessarily in the city. Right now, I don’t have the finances to do even a regional tour, but I feel that it’s pertinent to take advantage of online opportunities that’ll broaden my reach; not just in the country, but internationally as well. (AA) Do you think your music offers something different than what’s currently on radio? (MK) Yes, I think that I offer something different content-wise. I get challenged all the time with my content not being edgy or sexual enough, but I feel that I can still be DOPE and people can still love what I do without having to compromise my moral standards or what I believe in. I think that’s been the hardest for me. I’m totally bent on persevering and getting to where I want to be without compromising in that area. (AA) Where do you see your career in the next five years? (MK) In the next five years, I want to be traveling the world, not just performing but speaking into people’s lives and connecting them with my music, using my music as a platform. (AA) What do you want your legacy to be? (MK) I want it to be that I’m someone who is good for the music industry. I want people to say that not only did I stand for something in my music, but that my life was an example and a reflection of that as well.

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Pure DOPE Magazine TRINA She landed at the turn of the century, in a proverbial private jet – hot as herbal tea, verbal as today’s MC – and immediately stomped onto rap’s red carpet rhymin’ about man-fan-paid-for designer pumps and purses with a stuntin’ style all her own. Trina has always been a brash beauty ‘bout her muphukn business. She was in the beautiful beginning. And will be to the elegant end. The self-proclaimed Baddest B!tch. Blessed with a truly Amazin’ life of luxury. The Glamorest Life for a Diamond Princess who more than a decade later is undeniably Still Da Baddest sex symbol, female rap icon, and ghetto-to-stiletto glam girl in the game. Her peers, as plentiful and powerful as they once were, have failed to remain as popular or present as Trina. Her prestige deriving from the strong sense of self-made womanism she embodies, a walking “Rose from The Bottom, now we’re here” anthem for Shanita ‘nem. True power is the power to empower. Trina empowered her posse with prose about pu$$y, the pursuit of paper, the push for power, and the prestige deriving from perpetual progression. The first place gold awarded to Goal-Diggers. Biggie went from ashy to classy. Trina went from raunchy to regal. She is most famous for being infamously foul-mouthed, a sexually liberated glass-ceiling shatter-er either rappin’ ‘bout being independent and not needing a man, or having any man she wanted rapped around her pointer finger – following the direction she was pointing in. A Dominican-Bahamian blend of straight forward sass and hourglass sashay, with a face and figure most models pay plastic surgeons to magically mimic via purchase order. Trina was born bad then matured into a matriarch. She’s loved, adored, admired to the point of being mirrored in almost masquerade-like fashion. Girls don’t want to be like Trina. They want to be her.

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Pure DOPE Magazine The lyrics were profane, overtly rough-edged, consciously sex-themed, street confident and strip club cocky; an often capitalist material girl’s words spread like gravy over Miami’s signature 808 base drums. Songs laden with references to authentic boot brands, nightclub ambience, beachfront property, bougie bags, and being a boss b!tch. By the time Trina grew tired of rhyming about red bottoms the rest of the chicks had just realized they wanted to start rockin’ them. She’s always been ahead of her time. Maybe it’s just easier to keep watch with a diamond-drowned, royal oak gold, Audemars Pieguet timepiece weighing down your wrist. Born Katrina Laverne Taylor in Miami, and raised in a Liberty City section widely considered to be Dade Counties roughest – she survived. What is seldom mentioned is this: prior to Trina – there wasn’t Trina. And since Trina, there hasn’t been another. No female rapper from the southeast made such an enormously successful national impact. Now a burgeoning global brand, she did it with model looks and parental advisory lyrics, with a live performance grind and major label backing, with drive and ambition: With killer Hip Hop and hips to die for. When you see your sky’s unlimited potential through grey eyes, the wind is only present to push your progress, even the clouds appear appreciative, and even life’s storms ain’t hurricanes unless it’s The U. Pure DOPE chilled with Trina at her exclusive cover shoot in NYC’s TriBeCa Art Gallery to discuss her sixth album, seven tattoos, and why baddest b!tches Love! bad boys. Written by Tone Swep Interview by Brittany Smooch Photographer: Dee Francis Stylist: Lisbeth Cervantes

Creative Director: Billy Anthony Asst Stylist: Iman Essiet

Hair: Patrice McLean of Melange NYC MUA: Sheika Daley

Dress: Ekineyo

Jewelry: Sequin NYC

Shoes: John Ashford

Accessories: Aleyda Creations

Location: Tribeca Art Gallery 69 in New York City, NY. Date: October 25th, 2013 COPYRIGHT

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Pure DOPE Magazine (Brittany Smooch: Smooch) So you are currently working on your sixth album? How is that going? (Trina) Yes, number six. I can’t believe it sometimes. We’re putting the finishing touches on it now. It’s actually going great. I’m really excited. I’m working with a lot of different producers. It’s just fun. It’s electric, it’s a lot of dance. It’s a lot of soul. (Smooch) That’s awesome! Is this album a lot different from your past albums? (Trina) It’s totally different. I think it’s more mature but it’s still street, it’s still sexy. I just think this album is a little more glamorous than my earlier albums. (Smooch) You are obviously sexy. Trina’s a hot girl (Laughs!). Do you think being sexy makes you more powerful, especially being a woman in the industry? (Trina) I think sexy comes from within. You just have to be yourself. When you’re sexy it just exudes. It makes you feel strong and confident actually. (Smooch) So tell me what is your most memorable moment in the studio? I know some crazy things can happen in the studio. (Trina) Ummm (Laughs!). I have a lot of good memories in the studio. I definitely would say working with artists in the studio. There’s a difference when you’re in the studio working with somebody as opposed to, like, being in separate studios and just working on a track. The creativity is just different. I know for myself I like to learn from other artists when I’m in the studio with them. I think that is good for me, to collaborate and share ideas with the artists I’m working with. (Smooch) What excites you most about life? What inspires this rock star known as Trina? (Trina) Just seeing what’s next and being happy. Loving life and living every day. Looking forward to what’s next. Looking to see how far I can challenge myself, pushing myself. I am very motivated as a person. Just to be able to do different things and for things to keep happening more and more and just getting better and better. I think trying to be great and more successful. I think that is what inspires me. Just to keep going further in my life and in my career. (Smooch) Soooooo, you just moved to New York? (Trina) I still live in Miami but I am in New York a lot now. I just moved out here. I really don’t like the cold though (Laughs!). Everything and everyone else is really nice. (Smooch) Miami just has the most amazing weather all the time. Even when it rains, still gorgeous. (Trina) It’s awesome. Yes, even when it rains it’s still amazing.

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Pure DOPE Magazine (Smooch) What is the biggest difference for you now, being in New York? (Trina) The weather is obviously one big difference. And the traffic here! I hate the traffic! New York is just faster and Miami is more relaxed. (Smooch) So tell me what’s your favorite thing to do when you are not working? (Trina) Nothing (Laughs!). Just to be able to do nothing. Things I don’t normally get to do like sleep, watch TV, and just try and relax. I do a lot in different cities and I move around so much, so when I’m not working I want to relax. No make-up, not dressed up. And I frequent spas, get massages, those kinds of girly things. (Smooch) If you could change one thing about the world what would it be? (Trina) I probably would say put an end to violence. The world would be a more beautiful place if there was no violence. Everyone would be walking around having a good time, just being happy. (Smooch) So do you have a favorite place to go on vacation? (Trina) The islands! Any Island I love to go to for vacation. The beaches, the sand, the food, the people, I love that. I love it all. (Smooch) Do you like good boys or bad boys? (Trina) Totally bad! Yeah I definitely think bad boys. I don’t know it’s just something about them (Laughs!). They are just more exciting, more fun and spontaneous. But it’s definitely a gift and a curse. (Smooch) Do you have any tattoos? I’m addicted to tattoos. (Trina) Yea, I really don’t like the pain but I think the adrenaline of the outcome, you know. You can’t wait to see what it looks like. I have like six or seven. (Smooch) Big or little? (Trina) Kind of small, just in the right places. (Smooch) So do you have a favorite store to shop at here in New York? (Trina) Yeah, it would probably be Bergdorf Goodman. It’s like an all in one. It’s got everything you would want from clothes to shoes, accessories to perfume. They’ve got everything. And that’s what I want when I’m shopping. Everything! (Laughs!) Everything!

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Pure DOPE Magazine BK Brasco

Timbaland protégé BK Brasco has a candid conversation with DOPE Magazine. Written by Tone Swep (Tone Swep: TS) Let’s start off with a conversation about Brooklyn. We start dropping greatest-MC names and the conversation instantly has Brooklyn written all over it. B.I.G., Jay, even Mos, Talib, the list is extensive. Is there an inherent obligation to extend that legacy? (BK Brasco: Brasco) Yeah, to add to it. That’s the whole thing. I started rhyming because of Big, because of Mase, even though Mase is not from Brooklyn. He had that Bad Boy sound. Living in Brownsville, I wanted to shed a different light on the borough. Talking to Jay and he was like: “How are you from there?”… There is so much aggression in the borough. I want to show the growth and new fly-ness. We can all coexist and carry the torch like the Big Poppa, Big Pimpin’, Juicy, One More Chance records did. (TS) When the Hip Hop sound initially shifted to the south, at first New Yorkers struggled to find a formula that worked. Now you, A$AP, French, dudes are making hit records. But aside from Joey Bada$$, is anyone creating records with the classic New York sound?

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Pure DOPE Magazine (Brasco) I really think I embody that, though. Every Bags is a classic New York record. When Big. was using some sort of west coast beats, they put the R&B in there and made it New York. It’s all about melody. Everything right now is about melody. They are going off what Bad Boy did. I think New York has to make hit New York records. We don’t have to follow what other people or regions are doing. When has New York ever been about strip clubs? Growing up, my moms would say that was disgusting. You were looked at crazy for going to strip clubs, like: “Why are you in the strip club? You can’t get girls?” (Laughs!). We need to make that soundtrack to New York. That’s what people want. (TS) With the widespread gentrification going on in Brooklyn, like in Marcy for example where projects are being converted to condos going for upwards of one mill, are families being displaced? (Brasco) I’ma tell you the truth. My grandmother still lives in Fort Greene. They offered her 20k to move out. Brooklyn has become a mainstream attraction. They’re trying to move everyone to Jersey and take the city back. They built the stadium here. It’s beautiful. If you can afford it, stay here. (TS) “18th Floor: The Thompson Hotel Edition”. EP is dropping in a minute. What can we expect and what’s the meaning behind the title? (Brasco) The meaning is like a bridge. The 18th Floor is where my best friend, who got killed a couple years ago, lived. My father died when I was 13. My close friend and I met on the 18th floor. I was a bad kid growing up and my mother didn’t want me outside, especially because we lived in Brownsville. But I started reading the bible and it taught me a lot. And then my friend was actually in the streets. A guy handed me a G-Pack once and offered me half to take it downstairs. And during the ride down on that elevator, from the 18th floor to the streets, I saw my life changing right before me on each floor. Like, if I ever make it back to the top after this ride down to the streets? Yo, never again. (TS) It’s well documented on this side of the table that we sit on – within the industry – that you were in high demand by essentially all of the major labels. Why Moseley Music Group? What was attractive about the imprint that drew you to them? (Brasco) I did my own thing first, but it was Mike Daddy, Timb’s partner, who really drew me in. And Jimmy Iovine really felt that Timb and I should work together. And then iron sharpens iron, so Timb really sharpened me up. He knew the ladies were my audience and that I should stay within that. God always says that he will send a person to say: “hey, what you’re thinking is right.” For me, that was Timb.

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(TS) You were first discovered and signed by legendary label exec Shakir Stewart, rest in peace. What are some valuable industry lessons you learned while working with Shakir that you still carry with you to this day? (Brasco) It’s all about the music. No matter what. It’s always going to be about good music. And to have integrity. Shakir was a big brother to me. My father died when I was young, so I always watched men and their moves and took notes. His ear was impeccable. He told me after my career I was going to be a great exec. I have an eye for talent as well. He was excited about putting music together. I don’t want to go to clubs and hang out. I’m a studio rat. Let’s work. And he also said never take people too seriously, because they are only there when you’re up. He really was the first person who took my skills and nurtured them. He put me with Sean Garrett to learn how to write with melody. Shakir was great. (TS) On the daily, give me three things you can’t leave the crib without. (Brasco) My laptop. My phone. And not without praying. (TS) Tell us what separates Brasco from the rest of these wolves who can’t emerge from the pack. (Brasco) I‘m a superstar. I’m just really, really a superstar. My uncle told me something one day. He said: “You’re a cool guy. You can mix with the lames and the gangsters”. I can come in and light any room up. I don’t have to say much. And I hear it, see it, and do it differently than any of these guys. COPYRIGHT

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Pure DOPE Magazine Dutchess Ever been to North Carolina? Besides quarter-backin’ Cam Newton and the Bobcats hoopin’ there isn’t much canvass for a free-spirited soul to paint her progress on. So Dutchess Lattimore - known to millions of VH1 viewers simply as Dutchess of Black Ink Crew – picked a path of greater goals and bigger dreams. Need greener pastures to get that real green. After earning a bachelor’s degree, and then her MBA, she left corporate America to pursue passions of personal and entrepreneurial importance: Body Paint. TV Screens. Magazine Spreads. Things most girls dream about but allow their dreams to get deferred. Langston warned us ‘bout that. Dutchess took heed. Roll a Dutch. Girl is gorgeous. Almond-shaped eyes accentuated by kiss-meLips and artwork-stained legs to die for. Can you live with that? Dutchess stepped into her exclusive DOPE Magazine photo shoot and rap session with the braids hangin’ (Tariq tied ‘em up) and the slang bangin’ (that thang wouldn’t shut up). And we didn’t want her to. Because Dutchess has sh!t to say. Listen up. Written by Tone Swep Photographer: Larry Lowe Creative Director: Ketta Vaughn Set Director: John “JD” Lawrence Stylist: Ty Scott

Hair: Tariq

MUA: Eve Chen & Ketta Vaughn of Melange NYC Location: Melange NYC Glam Boutique in Queens, NY Date: November 15th, 2013

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Pure DOPE Magazine (Tone Swep: TS) Black Ink marks your national arrival. The receptions and interpretations vary. She’s sexy, she’s ghetto, she’s educated, she’s an entrepreneur, etcetera. There is a mixed interpretation of who Dutchess Lattimore is. What’s the truth? Who are you? (Dutchess Lattimore: Dutchess) I am the Renaissance woman. I am the literal embodiment of all those things. I can be hood because that is where I am from. I can be sexy because God blessed me in that way. I can be educated because that’s what I was fortunate to gain. And I’m blessed to be entering into entrepreneurship, with businesses opening soon. You can’t be corporate with some people. That’s not what they’ll understand or relate to. And you can’t be ratchet or educated with everyone either. I place myself in uncompromising situations on purpose. That’s when you learn and when your fortitude is tested. (TS) I’m talking to a chick with a Master’s degree in business. Your moves are strategic, like for every action there’s a planned reaction. The move to New York was genius, catapulted your tattoo artistry and celebrity to new heights. What is the next power move? (Dutchess) You know what’s funny? My whole life I wanted to be a mortician. I worked at a mortuary in high school, and when I was in the 12th grade my aunt was murdered. And her body was actually released to the mortuary I worked at. You know, death is just the dark side of life that we all have to accept is going to happen. Not only to us, but to those we love as well. So I might not be an actual mortician, because now I have so many other things going on. But I hope to be in the business of taking care of the dead, maybe owning a funeral home. (TS) What has been the most glaring change in your life since the show made you mega popular? (Dutchess) Honestly, the biggest thing is the amount of women who come up to me and say I inspire them. They admire me, and these are women of all ages and ethnicities. I wasn’t supposed to go to college coming from where I come from. But a goal of mine was always to motivate as many women as humanly possible, especially young women. Because so many of us aren’t receiving that motivation in our schools, communities, or homes, and it is so needed; vital to our growth and emergence as women. (TS) You like to be underestimated. Why? (Dutchess) Because it puts a challenge on my shoulders and fuels my fire. Being Black in America, if you want to be a success it’s all about defying odds. Being doubted or underestimated really pushes you. And sometimes it’s self-doubt, when you’re just not certain if you can make it happen or not. But someone thinking I can’t do something makes me know that I can. (TS) What do your braids represent? (Dutchess) Freedom. My braids represent freedom. They show that I don’t need anyone’s confirmation to be me. As if I don’t fit the mold of a TV personality, or a model, or whatever. But know I’m me and don’t need anyone to validate me. And my braids represent the freedom of mind, body, and spirit needed to own that. COPYRIGHT

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(TS) Your sex appeal is even more popular than your work as a tattoo artist. How much power does being sexy give a woman? (Dutchess) This is crazy to say, but up until recently getting my breast implants I didn’t feel sexy (Laughs!). I love being from the south. There are just so many beautiful people everywhere, so the last thing I heard was: “You’re beautiful”. What made me standout was being smart. I would hear that. I just really started wearing heels while in college (Laughs!), but was managing my grandmother’s accounting and balancing her books at 14. So being intelligent enough to get a full scholarship to college, to graduate, then to go on to graduate school, those things stood out more. At least they did for me. (TS) What in your opinion is your sexiest attribute? (Dutchess) My mind is my sexiest attribute. And intelligence is the biggest turn on to me. If you can phuk my mind, you have me. I can sit here naked and talk to you all day, and I’ll be so into the depth, so attracted to the importance of this conversation we’re having that sex won’t even be on my mind.

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Pure DOPE Magazine (TS) Why do you feel people, and especially women of color, are so drawn to the on again, off again, up-and-down love affair between yourself and Ceaser? (Dutchess) I feel like people just want to be in other people’s business (Laughs!). If you think about it that’s reality TV. People are watching other people’s real life relationships instead of actors playing a part on a sitcom or drama. And then our relationship is different from a lot of the others on reality shows. Most of the others just show the drama. We have good and bad, so in that way it’s real. (TS) There’s a big difference between a Boy’s Talk Game and a Man’s Conversation. In your experience as a woman what is the difference? How do you determine one from the other? (Dutchess) Whew! You said a mouth full then. Yes! (Laughs!). A man knows how to articulate himself. He’s so comfortable with himself and with what he’s saying, he says it with confidence. A boy isn’t sure of himself or of what he’s saying. And I think a boy is also afraid of losing. A man isn’t. A man knows he’ll lose some, and win some, because that comes with the territory. (TS) Your life, thus far, has been about you identifying challenges, setting goals, and then accomplishing those goals. What have you identified as your next big challenge? (Dutchess) The next big thing for me, the number one thing, is to be able to help more women, especially young women, and as many as possible. I started my scholarship foundation so I hope to send young women to college. And my sister has a catering company, so on Thanksgiving I’m preparing and delivering home-cooked meals to three families who haven’t had a home-cooked meal in years. And WE are doing the cooking, and my father and I are going to deliver the dinners personally. Right now, I can only do so much because I am still growing as a person, as a business woman, and still earning. But these are the types of things I hope and pray I am powerful enough to do more for years to come. (TS) I would like to see you play the lead role in a period drama, like “12 Years a Slave”. And I also could see you on Broadway doing stage plays. (Dutchess) It’s so funny you say that. Chris Rock asked me to come to a reading, but I was scared so I didn’t go (Laughs!). Then Iyanla Vanzant’s team also approached me with a project. (TS) If Tupac walked, sat in your chair, and told you to pick his next tat? What tat would you do? (Dutchess) (Screams!!) Oh, my God! Why would you… no first… How would you know to ask me about my favorite person in the whole wide world? Tupac is my favorite person ever! Ever! If Tupac Shakur came into my parlor, sat in my chair, and said: “Dutchess, give me the tat you think I should have”. I would probably put Me Against The World across his chest, shoulder to shoulder. Because that is such an important message. And he lived by it. And I do to.

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Pure DOPE Magazine (TS) A duchess by definition is a woman who holds the rank of a Duke, a ruler. How do you feel you embody and exemplify your given name? Do you have an aura of superiority? (Dutchess) My grandmother gave me that name. I was the first grandchild on both sides. And I feel like the world is a playground, and a customer’s body is a canvass. You know, I like to create and explore. I like to achieve. So, I don’t know about superiority, but I think I encourage others to be superior and to have their own kingdoms and rule and achieve. (TS) You’ve expressed that you are a Daddy’s Girl, and that your relationship with your father is deep and unique. What is one important gem you learned from your Dad that you still live by today? (Dutchess) Well, as parents you aren’t supposed to tell your kids this. But my daddy always told me I was his favorite. He was a Marine so when we talk it be on some Art of War sh!t, like we really have deep and meaningful conversations about real life. We have matching tattoos, too. That’s my daddy. And I’m his girl. Love that man. (TS) 10 years from now, November 2023 – who and what will this girl named Dutchess whom we all have a media crush on have evolved into? What kind of woman will be seated before us? (Dutchess) I’ll probably be a philanthropist. The type of women I look up to are strong, educated women who are beautiful and share that strength and beauty with their communities. This is what I aspire to be. Those are my plans. And I want to continue to set my own standards of living and being. (TS) Is your next tattoo going to say DOPE GIRL? If not, then what? (Dutchess) I was going to get “Accomplished” because I have accomplished so much. But then I started looking at it like, wow, I have so much more to accomplish. Maybe I should hold off on that. So I’m not really certain. What you think I should get? (TS) Get DOPE GIRL. DOPE on one thigh and GIRL on the other. (Dutchess) That would be sexy though. But I’m definitely a DOPE GIRL now messin’ with ya’ll whether I tat it or not (Laughs!).

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Pure DOPE Magazine Nick Cannon He was born in San Diego, a comfy oceanfront postcard city known more for Sea World and scenic views than movie stars making mogul moves, but Nick Cannon had his ambitious sights set on superstardom from the start. Young homie hit Hollywood before graduating high school, working the comedy circuit as a pre-teen and even landed a gig as a script writer for Nickelodeon at only 17-years-old. Nick Cannon is DOPE… and has been for some time. As an actor and comedian Cannon made an immediate impact, landing memorable roles in “Whatever It Takes” and “Men in Black II”. But it was Cannon’s breakout role as cocky, well-meaning drum-major Devon Miles in “Drumline” that would firmly cement him as a screen scene regular. Musically, well… he rapped and many of us didn’t understand why, at least not at first. Why did a budding movie star need Hip Hop? Wasn’t that hustling backwards? Didn’t Will Smith use rap to get to Hollywood, and not the other way around? But, as usual, we all quickly learned Nick knew what the hell he was doing even when we didn’t. Visionaries see what most never even realize is there to look at. A mirage in the desert can become The Mirage Hotel and Casino when you see things for what they can be, instead of what they are. Cannon dropped a few singles, the most popular of the bunch being “Gigolo” which peaked at number nine on the rap charts. More purposefully, he made music, essentially, to learn the industry, to be in a leadership position to sign and develop talent like he does today. The kid got paid millions to intern and learn. The rest of us took notice. The best of us took notes. Nick just took over. In truth, the music piece would prove to be only one of Cannon’s many tasteful chess moves. He has headlined three major network television shows, most popularly Wild ‘N Out, more famously America’s Got Talent, and unforgettably The Nick Cannon Show. He has starred in a slew of cult classic big screen films, an impressive list which includes “Underclassman”, “Roll Bounce”, and “Love Don’t Cost a Thing”. He produces, directs, and writes. And outworks everyone.

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Pure DOPE Magazine But it was perhaps these two synchronized power moves - his marriage to Pop Star/R&B legend Mariah Carey in 2008 and the founding of his NCredible Entertainment imprint in 2009, that combined to catapult Cannon into another stratosphere. Similar to Laker legend Kobe Bryant, when a young, handsome Hollywood player chooses the husbandry of a young king over the hedonism of an old heathen, he is instantly held in higher esteem. No light shines brighter on a young entertainment mogul than the spotlight constantly cast on Nick Cannon. His NCredible company is quietly one of the leading hybrid brands in the industry – from headsets to hot new stars, merchandise to media production, they get it done over there at Cannon’s crib. He just bought Soul Train. He’s releasing his new album “White People Party Music” on April Fool’s Day, 2014. He owns stock in BET. He is also tired of seeing “slave movies” about maids, butlers and antebellum America. Cannon is a progressive. He wants to chart our progress, though he respects the past. “Nick Cannon Neck Ties” are sold at Macy’s. NCredible headsets did 45mill. As one of the few Black men in the world effectively bridging what has been narrowly defined as urban-Black culture with mainstream American values, Cannon remains driven in so many lanes, many of which few even know exist. He’s good. Damn good. Damn near great. Give him another decade to do it. How did he get it done? With Charisma: and of course the six C’s – Mr. NCredible is all about high Character and low Chaos; a Classy Cali dude with a Cool presence and often Corny sense of humor, which allows the squares to dig him while he keeps the controversy out of his circle. Cannon sat down with DOPE GIRL Kanary Diamonds at Paramount Studios in Hollywood to drop jewels, discuss the details, and Wild Out a lil’ sumthin’ for our Black Friday ish. Written by Tone Swep Interview by Kanary Diamonds Photographers: Gomillion & Leupold

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Pure DOPE Magazine (Kanary Diamonds: KD) Coming from San Diego, how did you emerge to become a household name amongst the Diddy’s and Jay Z’s? How did you get here from San Diego? (Nick Cannon: Nick) That’s quite a compliment. I don’t know, honestly. It was one of those things where I always had a drive and ambition of what I wanted to be. I didn’t know exactly how to go about it, or what the final destination was. I still don’t even know. But I knew that I had something special that I wanted to share with the world. I knew I had a lot more to offer. And I knew I was very creative and wanted to be in the world of entertainment. But even in San Diego, if someone said they were in the music business, I visited their studio or venue. I did everything I could possibly do from interning at radio stations, to participating in local talent shows, church gatherings, street fairs, anytime I could get in front of people. I was there. (KD) What was your first dream? Was it comedy, music, or acting? (Nick) I would definitely have to say music was my first dream. I had my first demo tape when I was 8years-old. Comedy? I was always a fan of it and decided it was something I wanted to do at about 11 or 12. At that time I had been introduced to Eddie Murphy’s “Delirious” and “Raw”, and then Arsenio Hall was on television at the time. And I was like: “Man! I want to do that. I want to do what he does.” (KD) Wild ‘N Out is back and better than ever. What are the major differences if any between the new and improved version and the original? (Nick) I feel like the newer Wild ‘N Out is more raw. We kind of pushed the boundaries even more. Made it more in your face and stripped away the Hollywood-ness. The ones before were kind of like overly colorful, a lot of bells and whistles. This time I think we gave the people what they really wanted to see. More in your face, more unapologetic. And then embraced the things that worked really well. Allowed the talent on there to do their own thing a little bit more. And I tried to make it less about me this time around. Before it was more about it being my show. There were sketches about me. Now I put the shine on everyone else. (KD) Word on the street is that you’re bringing Drumline back as a TV series. (Nick) It’s interesting because what we’re doing first is Drumline 2 the movie. And the plan is that it would then turn into a TV show, if the movie is successful it will turn into a series. Very similar to how you see Single Ladies on VH1, which started out as a movie and then turned into a series. We’re trying to follow that in a sense, but we’re focused on the movie first. (KD) Ok, well. If there are any openings I do act (Laughs!). (Nick) (Laughs!) Perfect, I will keep that in mind.

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Pure DOPE Magazine (KD) With the morning show you had on the radio, it was DOPE. You had a lot of people shaking in their boots so to speak. Have you thought about getting back on the air? (Nick) Everything is time management right now. I’m definitely getting back into the world of radio to have my own show again. I have my own podcast right now, just because I love interviewing people. Love being able to just be myself and connect with the fans. You’ll see me in the radio space again soon. It’s just like where am I going to do it, and how can I do it in my own way. I should be on my own radio station. That’s one thing, I don’t like having a boss. I hate that. And then also, at the time, my health became an issue. Now, I could really do it. (KD) Speaking of your health. You were diagnosed with Lupus. How has that changed your life? (Nick) It’s changed me for the better, honestly. I eat better. I live better, exercise better. But then it puts everything into perspective for you when it comes to life. Family has always been the number one priority for me, but that even more so makes you prioritize your decisions; get the most out of life. (KD) You’ve been known to have the pretty girls, the pretty women. Always had those. You’ve been blessed with the best (Laugh!) (Nick) (Laughs!) Right, I’m like a connoisseur of beauty I guess. (KD) So, what does it take to get dumped by Nick Cannon? (Nick) Awww! Wow! Man! I don’t like dumping people. That was never my thing. I always tell people I’m a hopeless romantic. When I go into something I go in all the way. So if you don’t have that same passion... that, and probably honesty. Like, I accept every fault that anyone could have. Because we’re all human. But if you lie to me and try to hide it. We can’t go any further. (KD) You got married relatively young. Ever find it difficult in any way to juggle marriage and career? (Nick) Nah, marriage is the best thing that ever happened to me on so many levels. Even career-wise, because I was so focused on extra-curricular activities I wasn’t able to focus all the way on my career. I feel like, with marriage, I’ve become a better businessman. And then my wife being so intelligent and so inspiring, it’s just one of those things. When you have a partner in life who can motivate you and push you. It’s nothing like it. Love is a choice, too. A lot of people don’t realize that. (KD) You recently did your “Phuk Nick Cannon” standup comedy show. Do you prefer standup over film and television? (Nick) I do. I love standup to death. It’s definitely my first love. Like, if I could only do one thing, it would be that. Just because for one, standup comedy was the thing that initially opened the doors for me. As much as I loved music, everyone was doing music. So I didn’t stand out as much in that sense. But I was always the youngest standup comic, or the youngest comedic writer, in every venue that I was in. And then comedy is the most free form of entertainment. To this day it’s therapeutic for me. I get up there and say whatever I want to say. COPYRIGHT

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Pure DOPE Magazine (KD) You also have Real Husbands of Hollywood and then America’s Got Talent. What are the major differences between doing two projects like those? (Nick) I wouldn’t even just keep it between those two. ‘Cuz everybody is like, okay, I have Wild ‘N Out and then the stuff I do on Nickelodeon. I mean, those are like four different people right there (Laughs!). Wild ‘N Out Nick is very much Hip Hop. Most of the time I’m on there in a t-shirt, skully cap and all of my jewelry. And then America’s Got Talent is kinda like straight down the middle. Suited, smiling, likable. He would never say any of the things that the guy on Wild ‘N Out says. And then the guy on Real Husbands of Hollywood, that dude is like this exaggerated version of the businessman. The guy that’s a father and very responsible and no nonsense. And then the guy on Nickelodeon is just a big kid really. But each is just a different aspect of my personality. It’s me at a different stage and at a different level talking to a different audience. Like, if you’re talking to your 5-year-old you’re going to tell the story differently than if you were talking to your 25-year-old homeboy. It’s just the way I deliver my message. Sometimes it’s sugar coated. Sometimes it’s a little potent. (KD) How do you manage? Even with just those four shows. I know it’s demanding. (Nick) I see it all as one job, honestly. It’s one career. You know, it’s not really like I have go do this, and do that, and do this. I mean, I’m an entertainer. I’m a content provider. And however I can do that I see it as one thing. So I just wake up every morning and attack my schedule. What’s ever in front of me I dedicate my heart, mind and soul to it. And then just keep it pushing. (KD) So, with your rap career. You came in at a time where the Jeezy’s, the Snoop’s, the DMX’s were more popular. And then you were like the friendlier guy. You were a little ahead of your time, because now everybody is friendly. How does that make you feel? (Nick) Well, I wasn’t a pioneer of that or anything. Because I looked up to guys like Will Smith, Heavy D, Kwame, and even guys like Tribe Called Quest. It was a time in Hip Hop when there was a bunch of stuff going on. When I came out everybody was trying to be tough and gangsta. Now I feel like Hip Hop is back in a place where it started, where you can have the nice guy, the gangsta, sort of the guy with the Bohemian vibe. You can have a Kendrick and Drake, and at the same time have YG, Future, Rich Homie Quan. All of those people can exist in the same world right now. I’m just really excited about music right now. (KD) Who are your top 3 artists right now? Who do you listen to? (Nick) Mariah Carey (Laughs!) Her new album coming out is insane. (KD) Boom! (Laughs!). There it is!

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Pure DOPE Magazine (Nick) Yeah, her next album is great. It’s definitely next level. I’m definitely a Drake fan. I tell him that all the time. He’s kind of writing his own check right now. It’s very impressive to see where he’s come from, and now where he’s taken it. Other than that… let me see, ‘cuz I be on some other stuff… I like this group called Psyche Ward Druggies. I like Tech N9ne. Their whole Strange Music crew is hot. And I like the Odd Future movement, honestly, too. Tyler’s album was DOPE. I like what they’re doing. (KD) With the NCredible brand being this big monster. What’s next? Like with gear? (Nick) Yeah, we’re definitely in the consumer product business. We just made upward of $40million in the last two years selling headsets. And that’s quite the accomplishment. We’re moving into tablets now. And we also have the NCredible Network launching this holiday season. And then there are backpacks and school supplies you can get at Office Depot. But I don’t know if I want to do the clothing line thing with the NCredible brand. I do have Nick Cannon ties and socks in Macy’s right now, getting into suiting. But even though I’ve been approached many times with offers. I’m still thinking about it. (KD) What advice can you give aspiring moguls? (Nick) Ultimately, I kind of narrow it down to two things. One, be a self-motivator. Because there are so many haters and naysayers out there to tell you, you can’t do this. And you can’t do that. You have to wake up every morning and remind yourself that you’re the best of the best. You have to just build yourself up with so much confidence. And then once you understand and truly believe that. You have to be a self-generator. You gotta have that corresponding action that equals that faith. You know, you can’t do nothing on just faith alone. Faith without work is just dead. So in order to do that you have to be a generator, which is something that generates power. You have to generate or create your own opportunities. Create something on your own. Then you can write your own check. (KD) How about a business tip? (Nick) I always say you never want to go into a meeting asking for something. Because then if you go into a meeting asking for something, you’re not the strong person in the meeting. And you’re at that person’s disposal. It’s whatever they decide. You always want to have the strongest hand you can play. (KD) What makes you DOPE? (Nick) Oooh, what makes me DOPE. It’s my style. I call it my moxie. I don’t use the word swag. I call it my moxie. Look it up (Laughs!).

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Pure DOPE Magazine Keisha Chenelle

A Quick Conversation with a DOPE GIRL from Miami Photographer: James P.

MUA: Phasion

(DOPE MAG: DM) What three qualities do you find sexiest in a man? (Keisha Chenelle: Keisha) Having ambition, integrity, and the art of being romantic. (DM) Give us one thing about Miami which separates it from any other city in the world. (Keisha) Miami differentiates from other cities because of the massive mixture of cultures here. And based on our various backgrounds, we’re grinding hard in our own lanes. Sometimes the lanes merge. (DM) Your single "Turn Up" was a viral success. Plus you act, sing, model. Busy girl? How’s life? (Keisha) Life after “Turn UP” only involves me raising the bar and striving for higher success. (DM) You've been down with Pure DOPE for a minute. What makes you a DOPE GIRL? (Keisha) A DOPE GIRL is someone who isn’t afraid of goal setting and dream catching. Life may not be easy and things will get tough but she’ll shine forever like a diamond in the rough. COPYRIGHT

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Pure DOPE Magazine Wonder Broz

Once upon a time in the LBC two Cali Boys remind us of Snoop and Warren G. The NCredible duo of Gennis and Tool talk music and money with DOPE MAG. (ToneSwep: TS) Has to be cool being brothers and teaming up to make music and be entertainers. (Wonder Broz: WB) The best part about being in a group as brothers is we both are very competitive so every song we try to go in on to see who has the best verse, which makes our songs turn out DOPE. Plus we’re making money together. (TS) Used to be gangsta rap. What is the West Coast sound today? (WB) West coast music in the last few years has really been turn’t up. Outside of the whole TDE movement which is super DOPE, everybody from the West is on that party vibe. We like to call it house party music. (TS) What’s been your best show so far? (WB) Man! Our best live performance was in Kentucky, right outside of Cincinnati, Oh. The show was in an arena with over 12 thousand people screaming. That energy from the crowd had us on one. COPYRIGHT

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Pure DOPE Magazine (TS) What’s your favorite city to kick it in? (WB) Outside of Long Beach our favorite city is New Orleans cause that's where most of our family is from. That lower 9th Ward. (TS) Everybody loves Cali Girls man. Give us the inside scoop. (WB) Cali girls are always current with style. Only problem is a lot of them are too Hollywood and we like down to earth girls. But they are fine though (Laughs!). (TS) How big of an impact can this Wonder Broz tag team make? (WB) With the right team and label support on top of us making the right songs the sky is the limit on how big we can get. We love what we do and fame is not the goal. Being able to make music that other people rock with is the best part. (TS) What’s the coolest thing about working with Nick Cannon and his NCredible imprint? (WB) Working with Nick Cannon is cool ‘cause dude is the ultimate hustler. He goes and finds them checks (Laughs!). Say what you want about him but at the end of the day he’s a boss with no issues. You have to admire a Black man who can make it on his level without all the B-S that most of us have in this entertainment biz. I mean, he is from San Diego and wasn't born rich and dude made it. Shout out to that. As for the label, it’s NCredible for LIFE! (TS) When is the EP dropping? We’ve been hearing about it for a minute. (WB) We plan to drop our EP around April of 2014. You can expect to hear what a real 17 and 16-yearold teenager’s life is like, how we feel and think. What we do. Life is supposed to be fun so we want to bring as much of that vibe as possible. (TS) Who would you like to collaborate with outside of the West? Create a song that builds a bridge. (WB) It's so many artists out there doing it right now. The Chicago scene is on fire. I respect what those dudes are doing. People knock them but those brothers are flipping that negative that they been a part of and making money. People so quick to judge stuff instead of really understanding it. If you young and you doing yo’ best with what you got in front of you that's who we want to do songs with. (TS) What makes ya’ll DOPE? (WB) What makes Wonder Broz DOPE is we been on this grind for six years and we’re getting better with time. Progress is our measure of success. When you can say your new music is killing your old music then you know you progressing. Also we are big on being humble and appreciating our fans.

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Pure DOPE Magazine - Winter 2k13 - Black Friday 2 Issue  

Nick Cannon, Trina, B. Smyth, Tinashe, Lecrae, Micah Kiyo, Titus Makin, Keisha Chenelle, Justin Durant, Colette Carr, BK Brasco, Dutchess, D...

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